I was sitting on the backseat of an Uber going from BGC to Pioneer with my fellow Malabonian (Malabon-er? Malabon-ites?) Regina when we went from talking about random events to food.
Me: Uy may bagong boodle fight sa Navotas ah. Dinala kami nina Kulet nung anniversary nina Mama dun sa Pia’s. Masarap.
Uber Driver: Taga Navotas kayo ma’am? Taga Navotas din ako eh. Kumakain kami dun sa Pia’s. Masarap dun.
Kuya uber driver knows it. In other words, alam mo yan kuya!
You see, Navotas and Malabon are small ponds compared to BGC or QC. Recently, there have been a good sprouting of small restaurants in the area and if it’s any good — and cheap — word spreads quickly.
On my parents’ 37th(!) anniversary, Mark and Kulet, my youngest sister, treated them, and us, to Pia’s, a boodle fight concept restaurant in Navotas. Just like any restaurant in Navotas, Pia’s is easy to find. Navotas has 3 main roads that go up and down along the Manila bay coast. Pia’s is on M. Naval, the biggest (2 lanes!) one.
The restaurant is charming. It sits under a nipa structure with gravel flooring and pine tables and chairs. There’s a decent crowd on a week night and as my sister, the frequent patron, says, in spite of its spacious dining area, it gets crowded during weekends. As with any restaurant where you can find good, cheap food, there’s no airconditioning.
There are good boodle options on the menu suitable for any budget. We got the Sama-Sama A: Fried Rice, Grilled Liempo, Binagoongang Baboy, Pinaputok na Tilapia, Chicken Inasal, Ensaladang Talong, Itlog na Pula, Atchara and One Pitcher of Iced Tea. At 590, it’s good for 4 persons. Everything is good, even the fried rice, which I have a sneaking suspicion that it had MSG, because it’s that good. Very umami.
Back in the uber, where kuya uber driver and I already bonded over food…
Me: Masarap nga dun sa Pia’s, kuya. Masarap yung bagoong. Tsaka hindi nakakastress kumain kaysa sa Mikay’s. Grabe kasi sa Mikay’s, di ka pa natatapos may nagaabang na. Di ka makakain ng maayos.
Uber Driver: Oo nga. Nakakain na rin ako dun. Dami ngang tao.
Kuya Uber Driver is my people.
786 M. Naval St
Navotas, Metro Manila